Just Sew Helen’s Hayley Ballet Top

Sam Pattern Review 0 Comments

Having made a couple of faux wrap dresses, I wanted to make a top in a similar style.  The dresses are so comfortable and easy to wear & I was looking forward to trying out the Simple Sew Hayley Ballet Top.

I found some gorgeous fabric from ClothSpot and their service is second to none.  The fabric, ‘Pavilion’ navy blue & ivory floral viscose jersey fabric, arrived beautifully packaged in an aubergine coloured tissue with some complimentary fabric swatches. 

The fabric itself isn’t something I usually go for in terms of the pattern, but I immediately thought of the Hayley Ballet Top when I saw the fabric.  The fabric has a navy background with ivory flowers outlined in black with black leaves and is a beautiful fabric. 

The pattern has a nice envelope with a fold at the side which will allows the pieces to fit back in easily once cut and refolded.   The pattern itself is printed on good quality tissue paper and the instructions are on a 4 paged booklet.  The Hayley Ballet Top can be made from woven or knit fabrics.

I prewashed the fabric and dried it flat on an airer.  Jersey fabric can become quite heavy when it is wet, and care is needed to ensure that the fabric doesn’t pull out of shape or dent from the edges of the airer.  Small dents can be ironed out with a steam press.

The fabric has a directional pattern and it isn’t easy to see the pattern repeat due to it being a large design.  This made it much easier to plan the pattern layout as minimal pattern matching is required.

The fabric, as with many jersey fabrics, does curl at the edges but it doesn’t fray which is a benefit.  I found ironing each piece before sewing helped to flatten out the edges and made stitching easier.

Viscose jersey can be tricky to sew as it can move and also stretch slightly when stitching so care, and for me slower stitching, is necessary.  I usually use a lightening/stretch stitch and then finish the edges with zig zag stitch.  However, I have had occasions when the lightening stitch has stretched lighter weight fabric a bit, so I decided to try an overlock stitch on my sewing machine.  I inherited my mom’s overlocker but have still to read the instructions and practice with it.  I was pleased with the stitch I used and, although I stitched a bit slower to ensure it was close to the edge, it was definitely quicker than my previous method of neatening seams.

After reading a couple of other posts by The Wardrobe Architect & Appleby Makes, I incorporated their advice along with my preferred methods for sewing stretch jersey.  This included sizing down to ensure there is negative ease, applying a strip of knit interfacing to the front shoulder seams before stitching and adding a strip of clear, 0.5 mm elastic along the front neck opening to help prevent gape. 

Finally, I omitted the facing and finished the edges with a narrow, single fold hem.  Alternatively, these edges can be finished with jersey bias binding if you prefer not to add a facing.

I also set the sleeves in flat and then sewed the side together along the length of the sleeves and down the side seam.  I recently made a sweater with knit fabric using this method and really liked this way of setting in sleeves, although it is not suitable for every type of fabric.

I often refer to a really helpful post by a Sabrina Lee – Perfecting the Wrap Dress.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the top, I love the fabric and the pattern combination creating a classic top that can be dressed up or down.  The only thing I would change next time is to shorten the ties as they are really long. 

I’m looking forward to the simple things of going out for coffee or for a meal once this difficult period of social distancing is over and the Hayley Ballet Top will be perfect for comfort and style & top of my list to wear.

Stay well everyone and I hope this has inspired you to try out this lovely pattern.


We took a peak at what other jersey fabric Clothspot had to offer and came up with these gems that would also work well for the Halley Ballet Top. Pick from spring brights or classic neutrals and check out the full fabric requirements on the back of the Hayley Ballet top below.

Top Right‘Key West’ coral cotton jersey fabric
£11.95 per metre

Top left ‘Aquarelle’ multicoloured abstract viscose jersey fabric
£11.95 per metre

Bottom Left ‘Tabac’ soft caramel micromodal jersey fabric
£17.95 per metre

Bottom right‘Greig’ black and white striped viscose jersey fabric
£8.95 per metre

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